John Abbott Islander DB ready to shine with uOttawa

Gee-Gees welcome out-of-province commit to their Class of 2017.

The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees’ most recent commit, Eugene Whyne, a defensive back from John Abbott College, truly has a humbling and uplifting tale.

It’s a story of courage and resilience, of overcoming the hurdles life throws your way, and it starts in Little Burgundy, Montréal, Québec. “I never had it easy,” Whyne said. “Coming from a tough neighbourhood filled with gang violence and numerous dangers that lurk, many don’t have the opportunity to shine.”

But Whyne utilized his abilities and tried to make the best of the situation he was in. It was in football that he found solace. He started his seven-year career with the Pointe-St-Charles Aces, an amateur, non-for-profit team aimed at giving youth from low-income families the chance to learn the concepts of the game.

“It’s easy to fall of and lose track, and it’s even harder to actually stay on track,” Whyne said. “I’ve overcome failure multiple times in life and it still hasn’t phased or stopped me.”

With the elements of the game firmly in his grasp, Whyne blossomed with the Sun Youth Hornets (Québec Bantam Football League). After graduating high school, he played with the John Abbott Islanders in cégep. With his nose to the books, Whyne will now have the chance to attend the University of Ottawa, which he said has great schooling and programs.

“Many people don’t take into account their future after football. Nothing is guaranteed,” the potential criminology student said. “By having a solid education foundation, you have a backup plan in case football doesn’t go the way it has to.”

Courtesy of Eugene Whyne.

While Whyne may be planning for a post-football future, he is primarily focused on the here and now. “I’ve been drawn to the Gee-Gees football program since my first year of cégep. They’re a great organization on the verge of taking over the OUA and I want to be part and make an impact on my side of the ball, creating that winning dynasty,” he said.

But, you can’t create a winning dynasty without the commitment and dedication of everyone involved. Enter the Gee-Gees coaching staff. “The coaching staff is amazing,” the 6’0, 185lbs athlete said. “They really care and reach out to their players while making sure they push us to our competitive limits. They put us through tough workouts and practices, but, in the end, they know what it takes to be on the top.”

Courtesy of Eugene Whyne.

It has been a long and trying road for Whyne, but his optimism knows no bounds. Now he has a message for anyone struggling to stay afloat. “My words to any young man or woman out there in the same position I was in is, anything is possible. Stay in school, do well and continue to excel at whatever you are best at,” he said.

“I didn’t believe at first, but if you trust the process and keep your head straight, no matter where you’re from or how you live you’ll succeed. I’m a living testament of that and I’m sure many others can agree with me.”

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